God’s eternal plan will be fulfilled in a timely manner and according to God’s eternal decree and purpose. He has already established His purposes for all eternity.
He will bring about the salvation of all His elect, which was established before the foundation of the world. He will return and establish His Earthly Kingdom in His already planned time. The end of time and the beginning of Eternity is already set in His plan. He is not slack in His promises or in His already designed purposes for mankind and His glory.
This is called by theologians as God’s Decreed Will and has to do with His purposes and plans. These plans will not be changed or hindered from their accomplishments. God’s Decree will be sovereignly fulfilled.
So what happens next will be according to God’s timing and purposes speaks of His Eternal Purposes. For example the Rapture or the Second Coming.
The purpose of this article is to address: How do we know God’s will in the responsibilities of the church?
Let’s review the Wills of God before we get into the issue of God’s Will and Purposes for the Local Church.
- THERE ARE THREE MEANINGS OF THE WILL OF GOD
1A Sovereign decretive* will, the will by which God brings to pass whatsoever He decrees. This is hidden to us until it happens.
(*Having the force of a decree; pertaining to a decree.)
- 2A Preceptive* will is God's revealed law or commandments, which we have the power but not the right to break.
(*Of the nature of or expressing a precept; mandatory. Giving instructions; instructive)
(*Of, relating to, or expressing a rule or principle that prescribes a particular course of action or conduct)
- 3A Will of disposition* describes God's attitude or disposition. It reveals what is pleasing to Him.
(*The power or liberty to control, direct, dispose) (state of mind)
GOD GUIDES us first through his Word, then through our heartfelt desires, then the wise counsel of others, and then our circumstances. At that point we must rely on our own sound judgment…… . God gave each of us a brain, and he expects us to put it to good use.- Bruce K. Waltke, Finding the Will of God
R.C. Sproul said this about the Will of God
"The Bible is deeply concerned about the will of God---His sovereign authority over His creation and everything in it. When we speak about God's will we do so in at least three different ways. The broader concept is known as God's decretive, sovereign, or hidden will. By this, theologians refer to the will of God by which He sovereignly ordains everything that comes to pass. Because God is sovereign and His will can never be frustrated, we can be sure that nothing happens over which He is not in control. He at least must "permit" whatever happens to happen. Yet even when God passively permits things to happen, He chooses to permit them in that He always has the power and right to intervene and prevent the actions and events of this world. Insofar as He lets things happen, He has "willed" them in this certain sense."
It is the godly person who meditates on God's law day and night. While we seek to be "led" by the Holy Spirit, it is vital to remember that the Holy Spirit is primarily leading us into righteousness. We are called to live our lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It is His revealed will that is our business, indeed, the chief business of our lives.
With this background in mind let me try to address this matter of seeking God’s will for the local church. Is there a difference between seeking God’s will in a matter, and let’s see how God works out His purposes for the church."
When we say, "We are seeking God’s Will in this church matter." What does this mean.?
"We are praying that the Lord will give us the right pastor for this church." What does this mean, and how does God accomplish His will for this request? Does this mean that the man that comes to the church is really God’s choice?
"What is the will of God in this particular, unique situation in which we find our selves in?"
Said another way.....
What does it mean when one says "we will wait and see how the Lord’s will will work out?"
In Part Two On Friday....
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant October 11, 2006 Checked by Charity Whisnant Posted 10-12-06